SAN JOSE -- Sharks general manager Doug Wilson didn't try to disguise his excitement about Sunday's NHL draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., as the team holds four of the top 58 picks in what is perceived as one of the deepest draft classes in a decade.
That gives Wilson plenty of options for a draft that he said features quality players "all the way through the second round."
The Sharks have eight picks. In the first two rounds, they hold their own picks at Nos. 20 and 50, plus No. 49 acquired from the New York Rangers in the Ryane Clowe deal in April and No. 58 from Pittsburgh in the Douglas Murray trade in March. Clowe and Murray are set to become unrestricted free agents July 5.
The Sharks would not be afraid to package their early picks to move up and select a player they covet, but Wilson would also be content to keep what he has.
"We have the extra second-round picks to jump up if we want if things fall the way they do, but we may not need to," Wilson said. "To get quality and quantity, that's your ultimate goal, and we're in a really good position for that.
"We think next year's draft will be pretty good, too. But this draft in particular, it factored into the decisions we made prior to the trade deadline. To lose some players and not get really valuable picks back in a year of a strong draft would have been a double-whammy."
Depth at forward might be one of the Sharks' more pressing needs, as Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski are set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the 2013-14 campaign. Considering the depth of this draft, it is not unrealistic to think that one or two of the players the Sharks select Sunday would be on the roster during the 2014-15 season.
The Sharks could also trade a player to clear up salary cap space for free agency. After re-signing defenseman Jason Demers to a one-year deal for $1.5 million, the Sharks have a little more than $3.5 million in cap space, and that does not include the deal for 19-year-old prospect Tomas Hertl.
The Sharks also have six defensemen under age 26 who played at least one NHL game this season, and Brent Burns, signed for the next four seasons, remains an option at the blue line. Goalie Antti Niemi is signed for the next two seasons, and a number of younger netminders are in the pipeline.
Two forwards who might fall to the Sharks at No. 20 are Hunter Shinkaruk of the Medicine Hat Tigers and Curtis Lazar of the Edmonton Oil Kings. Both are versatile players who can play center and the wing.
Lazar is the more realistic of the two to be available at No. 20. Thought of as a tremendous skater, Lazar had 38 goals and 61 points this season in the WHL, with a plus/minus rating of plus-25.
Wilson praised the job his scouts have done leading into the draft.
"You have to forecast to see who might be available," Wilson said. "We don't just have a list and say, 'OK, let's take our next best guy.' What we try to do is go get the guys we want. So if you have to move up to get them, we'll move up to get them."
Where the Sharks draft
Here are the selections the Sharks own going into the NHL draft Sunday (round, overall pick, how acquired):
1st, No. 20, own pick
2nd, No. 49, from Rangers in Ryane Clowe trade
2nd, No. 50, own pick
2nd, No. 58, from Pittsburgh in Douglas Murray trade
4th, No. 111, own pick
5th, No. 141, own pick
7th, No. 201, own pick
7th, No. 207, from Colorado (via Anaheim) in 2012 five-player trade